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The Alicante Bouschet Grape


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About Alicante Bouschet

(Synonyms: Alicante, Alicante Henri Bouschet, Alicante Bouschet No. 2, Dalmatinka, Garnacha Tintorera, Kambuša, Sumo Tinto, Tintorea.)

Background

Map showing the Alentejo region of Portugal.

Alicante Bouschet—a grape whose full name (rarely used) is Alicante Henri Bouschet—is a red-wine grape originated in 1855 as a deliberate cross done by the eponymous M. Henri Bouschet, using Garnacha (Grenache) and Petit Bouschet (a grape that was itself a cross, made by Henri’s father). Today the wine is widely grown in France—though plantings there are slowly diminishing—and especially in Alentejo in southern Portugal (shown at the left: whence most of the top-notch bottlings); there are also significant plantings in Spain, with smaller plantings in Italy, California, and even Turkey.

(The full story of the origination of what is today generally just called Alicante Bouschet is rather complex, and too long to recite here; but the inclusion of “Henri” in the full name, and the synonym “Alicante Bouschet No. 2” are hints.)

Factoid: While most dark-skinned grapes produce clear juice when squeezed, Alicante Bouschet is of the “Teinturier” sort—one of only about a dozen or so in the world that produce red color when you squeeze the grape. The wine’s inky color is said to stain the wine glass.

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Some Descriptions of Alicante Bouschet Wines

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Some Alicante Bouschets to Try

(About this list.)

There are plenty of Alicantes in the U.S. market, but when one slices withh the knives of price and availability, one is left with just these few.

“Garnacha Tintorera” is just the Spanish name for Alicante Bouschet.


Envinate “Albahra” Garnacha Tintorera

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Niel “Santofimia” Garnacha Tintorera
(May be, in some vintages, blended with a bit of Tempranillo or Merlot.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Ocho Y Medio “Tinto Velasco”

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is the Herdade do Mouchão Tinto. It is not as widely available (or as inexpensive) as one might ideally desire, but it’s out there and much praised.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.